I am planning to write a book in my mother tongue (so excuse my bad grammar). It's in "Business and Management"

So, while I was reading books for my references, I found a well organized book. I took the index, the titles like (Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Marketing...etc) and followed the structure of chapters, titles and subtitles from that book. However, I used my thoughts and own professional language to explain each title, and added extra examples and quotes from other writers....

Kindly note that all the Chapters and titles are common scientific phrases that do not belong to the author.

And What is OK to quote? Sometimes I quote a definition or a paragraph, and of course I'll refer it to the original author and book...

Is that legal or illegal?

  • Welcome to Writing! If you have a moment please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. You may also find Writing Meta (which requires 5 rep to post on) useful. Have fun! Jun 23, 2018 at 21:29
  • I feel like this question belongs on the Law-Stackexchange since you are explicitly asking about legal regulations. Maybe someone on this SE will come around and help you based on experience, but at the latest when you try to publish your book you will likely need a professional opinion. Please also add the country you intend to publish in, since laws can be different in different countries (Wikipedia)
    – Umbozz
    Jun 24, 2018 at 10:35

1 Answer 1


I'm no expert, but I recommend a very cautious approach to copyright to stay out of trouble. Assume that nothing is permitted unless it is specifically stated somewhere.

About the Quotes: Full copies of works usually contain a copyright notice stating the permissions on what you can do with the text - usually not a lot.

About the structure: I would assume that copying the structure is a copyright infringement. If I understand correctly, you intend to use the structure in a different language than your reference work. So if someone came along and translated the index, it would certainly look like a copyright infringement, right? Better make sure you are covered.

About the phrases: You cannot apply copyright to term like this, at least as far as I know. See What exactly is the “five (consecutive) word” plagiarism rule?

To be on the safe side, getting written permission from the author and/or publisher to quote or reuse their works in any form is a good idea, if not necessary (again, I'm not an expert)

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